Serena Williams might be the biggest favourite for a fourth French Open crown, but there are plenty of gifted youngsters who can impress and shake up the draw. Some of them have already made their mark on the big stage and some are eagerly waiting to unleash their weaponry at the elite level.
Brimming with confidence, these rising stars are not intimidated by the sport’s biggest names and can definitely make the headlines in the next few days. Here is a list of the top five youngsters to watch in the women’s draw:
1. Daria Kasatkina (Age: 19 years, Rank: 32)
If there is one teenager who has been a model of consistency this season, then that is the 19-year-old Daria Kasatkina of Russia. Her meteoric rise has seen her reach the quarter-finals or better in three WTA tournaments already in 2016 and her maturity might propel her into making a deep run at Roland Garros.
More so, because the Russian’s best surface is clay and she was a junior champion at this Major two years back. Her sharp sense of the court and heavy top-spin forehands make her a dangerous floater in the draw. She justified her claycourt credentials by making it to the quarter-finals of the Volvo Car Open where she held a match point against the eventual winner Sloane Stephens.
After making the third round of the past two Slams, the 29th seeded teen has a decent shot at making the second week of a Major for the first time if she can win a potential third round meeting with the inconsistent Angelique Kerber.